Ecosystems


NYC Mayor Ending City's Purchase of Single-Use Plastics

The mayor's executive order will reduce the city's carbon emissions by approximately 500 tons per year, decrease plastic pollution, and reduce risks to wildlife, with the city estimating it will reduce the purchase of single-use plastics by city agencies by 95 percent.

Consent Order Signed as Hawaiian Dairy Closes

The order was completed to address numerous discharges of wastewater containing manure from the dairy to state waters during the past two years that were documented by the department, and it requires Big Island Dairy's owners to terminate their dairy operations.

Virginia Governor Signs Coal Ash Cleanup Bills

"The potential risks to public health and water quality posed by unlined coal ash ponds in the Commonwealth are far too great for us to continue with business as usual," said Gov. Ralph Northam. "This historic, bipartisan effort sets a standard for what we can achieve when we work together, across party lines, in the best interest of all Virginians."

IMO Trains Caribbean Oil Spill Managers to Boost Response Capacity

The March 11-14 course has showcased success stories of several countries in ratifying relevant international preparedness and response conventions, adopting national oil spill legislation, and developing oil spill response capacity.

The Netherlands Ratifies Ship Recycling Convention

Under the treaty, ships to be sent for recycling are required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, specific to each ship. Ship recycling yards are required to provide a "Ship Recycling Plan" specifying the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.

Survey Finds 18 Million Trees Died in California During 2018

"It is encouraging that the rate of mortality slowed in 2018. However, 18 million trees are an indication that the forests of California are still under significant stress," said Thom Porter, CAL FIRE's director and California's state forester. "The stress of drought, insects, disease, and prolific wildfire will continue to challenge the resilience of the state's forests."

New Leader Named for Gulf Research Program

The Gulf Research Program was established in 2013 as part of the settlement of criminal charges against two companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The federal government entrusted the National Academies with $500 million to enhance human health, environmental resources, and the safety of offshore energy systems in the Gulf of Mexico region.

End of Libby Cleanup in Sight: EPA

During the next year, this phase of the cleanup will be closed out, and long-term operations and maintenance of the site will transfer to the state in 2020. EPA reported that its activities at the W.R. Grace mine site will continue into the near future.



The beach at Skegness in Lincolnshire kept its Excellent rating in 2018 for the fourth year in a row.

Good Water Quality at Almost All UK Bathing Spots, Testing Shows

During the early 1990s, only 28 percent of bathing waters would have met today's standards, but big improvements have been made to water quality during the past two decades, in part thanks to EA regulations reducing pollution from water companies and industry, as well as the work of local councils and communities.

Florida State Expenditure Plan Approved

It allocates $291 million in project funding to address environmental restoration and enhancement, as well as economic revitalization, along Florida's Gulf Coast in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.

Aurora Flight Sciences Announces Solar-Powered Autonomous Aircraft

Named Odysseus, it is described by the Boeing-owned company as "a groundbreaking persistence aircraft inspired by the need for climate and atmospheric research."

Acquisition Expands Lake George State Forest

The forest in Volusia County, Fla., is composed of more than 10 natural communities, including pine flatwoods, floodplain wetlandsm and basin swamps, and is part of an extensive wildlife corridor that provides habitat and roaming area crucial to the survival of the Florida black bear population in the area.

Extensive flooding hit the Lynchburg, Va., area during 2018.

Eying Natural Disasters, Virginia's Governor Signs Resilience Executive Order

It calls for designating Virginia's secretary of natural resources as the chief resilience officer of the Commonwealth, a review of the vulnerability of Commonwealth-owned buildings, development of a Virginia coastal resilience master plan, a review of pre-disaster mitigation programs, and a review of compliance with flood protection and dam safety laws.

Surfer

From Grey to Green: Developing the Guidelines for Natural Infrastructure

By implementing natural infrastructure through living shoreline design, we can develop solutions that provide a multitude of benefits that include performing against the rising sea levels, managing flood risk, and providing ecological benefits, all at the same time.

Save Our Seas Act of 2018 Signed into Law

The new law extends the NOAA Marine Debris Program for five additional years and authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare severe marine debris events.

NOAA Revises Rainfall Qualifying as 100-Year or 1,000-Year Events in Texas

In Austin, 100-year rainfall amounts for 24 hours increased as much as three inches, up to 13 inches. 100-year estimates around Houston increased from 13 inches to 18 inches and values previously classified as 100-year events are now much more frequent 25-year events.

New Executive Director Appointed for PA Citizens Advisory Council

"Keith has provided outstanding legal counseling to DEP for the past four years," said Patrick McDonnell, Pennsylvania DEP secretary. "His broad experience within DEP and his extensive knowledge of environmental law will serve the council very well as they explore big-picture issue areas affecting the commonwealth."

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in 11 More Missouri Counties

Missouri Department of Conservation Forest Entomologist Robbie Doerhoff urged Missourians who own ash trees in areas where EAB has been found to make a plan now to either treat or remove those trees.

CAL FIRE announced that law enforcement investigators concluded a faulty gas water heater sparked one of the fires that merged to become the Rocky Fire, one of 16 active wildfires in the state as of Aug. 19, 2015.

High Fire Danger Causes Target Shooting Ban in Washington State

On average, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources responds to 22 wildfires annually on lands it manages that are caused by shooting, a number that includes illegal explosive targets and target practice.

July 28 Workday, Beach Cleanup Set at Hawaiian State Park

Volunteers are invited to build sand castles using sand that was deposited in an anchialine pool during the 2011 tsunami.